More retro dinner parties, please.
The company behind the Instant Pot, the 10-year-old wunderkind appliance that everyone tells you to buy for one reason or another, is merging with Corelle Brands, according to a statement. You might recognize Corelle as the makers of recognizable cookware stalwarts like Pyrex and CorningWare.
The Canadian-born Instant Pot, invented by computer scientist Robert Wang with $350,000 of his own money, has invited sometimes-feverish explorations of the machine’s capabilities since it hit the market in 2010. Can the Instant Pot (whose fans are sometimes called "Potheads") make butter chicken, lava cake, or cornbread? Yes, to all three. (Plus, it comes with accessories.)
Pyrex, meanwhile, has been around since 1915, when Corning, Inc., produced a line of extremely durable and heat-tolerant borosilicate glass cookware and storage items, which later grew to include products made from soda-lime glass.
Though that all sounds very technical, Pyrex has historically had a very stately and cherished role in the American home, good enough for wedding registries and family heirloom-status treasures. Don’t forget that if Midge hadn’t gone to collect her beloved Pyrex from The Gaslight Cafe (for the disastrous second time), she never would’ve had a reason to get onstage and become The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
As part of the merger, the Instant Pot’s parent company, Instant Brands, will retain its Ottawa headquarters, with Robert Wang serving as its chief innovation officer. Ken Wilkes, now CEO of Corelle Brands, will serve as the CEO of the newly formed company.
Financial terms of the deal have not been released, but the new company carries a combined value somewhere over $2 billion, reports MarketWatch.
What does all of this mean? First of all, as Instant Brands joins a more established kitchenware company, the Instant Pot will have the potential to reach new fans worldwide.
"We are thrilled to partner with a global market leader in Corelle Brands as we look to embark on our next chapter of strategic growth and expansion," Wang said in a joint statement from the two companies.
As for Corelle Brands, the company is happy to continue doing its share of the food prep and storage, whether that means holding your mise en place or being the serveware for your next dinner party. With more sourcing options and a greater supply chain, the merger could, and hopefully does, point to even more ways to accessorize the Instant Pot and expand its everything-but-the-kitchen-sink abilities.
Moreover, the new company is likely to bolster sales of both brands as it moves forward with expansion. An estimated 80 percent of American homes have Pyrex items, while the Instant Pot is in just 20 percent of them. With the support of Corelle, the Instant Pot will be able to reach beyond its fanbase to an even greater demographic of people who might have shied away from high-tech appliances and gadget-y kitchen tools—for example, the type of people who still have old school Pyrex.
We'll wait to see if Instant Pot's popularity (and domination) translates around the world.